Looking Forward, Looking Back, Something New in the New Year

Something New For The New Year

I learned another amazing thing about my new friend, Angela. She makes a New Years resolution each year and has never failed to keep it all year. That is unique in my experience and just another inspirational factoid that keeps popping out in conversation with my current lifestyle hero.

I’m sure I’ve made and failed to keep resolutions in the past, but in recent memory it has become my firm policy not to make promises I can’t possibly keep. I’m not starting now. Hero worship aside, I think I have good reason for my stand, I’ve tried and failed, I’ve got no streak to defend.  New Years resolutions are not for me.

That doesn’t keep me from thinking. I do that.

I’ve had a lot of good ideas. Often I know things that I would like to do, that I really should do, things that I feel guilty for not doing, small and large “would’a, should’a, could’a”s. But at the critical point of needing to act on those ideas by choice I forget or choose poorly, I fail.

Well, that’s what I like about my friend, she does stuff, not just “do whatever you feel” stuff either, I’m talking hard things, marathon hard, yes, and even keeping a New Years resolution all year every year hard. I’m impressed with her. I think, I need to be more like she is.

I Thought: Where Have I Heard This Before?

I’m always remembering stuff I should have done.  Who knows how much I’m forgetting now that I’ll remember I forgot later and feel like I should have remembered not to forget it… It’s a vicious cycle.

My friend told me, “I think hard about my resolutions because I always keep them.”  Not NYResolutions for me, but I want to do, and I really want to have done.  Like Angie does with her New Years resolutions, I need to think hard about the ideas I’ve had and do the best of them.

If only I could get all those ideas into one place and evaluate them.  Maybe I can test them and figure out which are actually good ideas and which are impractical or even wrong in real life.  Maybe I need to remember when an idea seemed good, but after further thought or testing it turned out to be dumb.  It would be good to remember that.

I Need to Write Stuff Down.

Maybe, at this point, you are thinking, “Wow Steve, setting concrete goals is nothing new. Did you just discover this basic principle of success that everyone already knows? Really?”  I know, I’ve known, and yet it seems, in effect, that I’ve forgotten to DO it.  Shameful for anyone, realizing that you really ought to have written things down is all the more appalling for a proto-writer.

I also think the formalizing and organizing effects of writing down an idea would help to intentionalize* it.  I’m always thinking of good ideas and promptly forgetting to do them, only to remember later and wish I had.  I need to think, Do write it, DO achieve the written goal or devise intermediate goals to record and then achieve in pursuit of the original intentionalized idea.  OR discovering that a goal is not productive figure out what the goal was meant to achieve and figure out a better path.

*note* I thought I might be inventing a word, but on further examination I find this definition: The bio-semantic process of synchronizing activity with intention.  So there, now I have to figure out what the heck bio-semantics are.

More on This Later.

So, I need to write stuff down.  It might be good, bio-semantically, to do so on a regular, habitual, ongoing basis so as to synchronize my activity with my intention.  AND I need to talk to my family, or rather, I need to communicate with my family.  One of my ideas was to write in a little, two person, sharing journal with my family where I communicate with them and then they with me even when we are not co-located in the time-space continuum which is our custom of late.  I need to.

So my lesson from my life-style hero, Angie, is that, instead of needing to, it is better to do and do and not stop the doing.  Thanks Angie.  I’ll keep at salad, and adventure, and writing things down.